A talented Renfrewshire muralist is helping brighten up a dreary underpass for the Erskine community.
Stephen Blackmore has added a splash of colour to the formerly litter and grafitti plagued spot in the town in the hopes it will help prevent anti-social behaviour.
The Houston artist – who is well known in the community for his wall art – was asked by Erskine Community Council to create the piece.
Stephen, who is known as Bmore Sketchy, wanted to creative a fun and interactive piece for youngsters who use the underpass to travel to the nearby St Anne’s Primary school.
He spent days bringing his idea for a “selfie wall” to life in the hope it would be enjoyed by the community.
The 32-year-old said: “I really enjoyed this project as I was given full creative control from the guys at the community council.
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“I have been wanting to create a selfie wall for a while and I had the idea to do a squirrel as it is a bit different from the common ones you see in other places.
“The underpass is right next to St Anne’s Primary so I hope the kids enjoy it.
“I’ve had a great response from the community so far, with loads of people commenting on it as they walked past.”
Erksine Community Council are also delighted with the finished mural and hope it will be a hit in the community.
The underpass had become a hotspot for vandalism and litter, with the walls covered in unsightly graffiti.
Jim O’Neil, Erskine Community Council’s treasurer, originally contacted Renfrewshire Council to get help cleaning the area.
He was then advised that a number of other underpasses in the area had installed murals which had helped deter people from damaging the area.
Jim told the Paisley Daily Express: “We were looking to tidy up the area as we were having a lot of problems with littler and vandalism.
“We reached out to Renfrewshire Council to help clean up the area and it was suggested to us that other areas had commissioned murals to deter that kind of behaviour.
“We had some funding available and we contacted Stephen to commission the piece for us.
“We are really pleased with it and would like to try and secure some more funding to do more projects like this in the area.
“So this is a bit of a social experiment to see if it helps make a difference.”
This is not the first underpass mural Stephen has helped create, having previously been involved in a project with schools in Renfrew.
He teamed up with Renfrew YMCA and primary pupils in the town to completely transform the underpass into a collection of murals.
Over the course of a few months – and with the help of pupils from primary schools in the area – Steve completed a series of inspiring and colourful murals on the walls of the previously drab underpass between Fulbar Avenue and Craigielea Road.
To see more of Stephen’s work, go to Bmore Sketchy Artwork on Facebook.
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